Treatment for insomnia depends on its underlying cause. Treatment for mild insomnia usually includes stress reducing activities, relaxation techniques, and regular exercise. Counseling and medications may be necessary for some patients who fail to respond to conservative measures.
Treatment for insomnia includes:
- Perform activities that reduce stress.
- Learn relaxation techniques:
- Relaxation therapy
- Counseling for insomnia
- Stimulus control therapy:
- Use the bed only for sleeping
- Go to bed only when sleepy
- If unable to fall asleep in 30 minutes, get out of bed to do something relaxing until sleepy; this can be repeated as often as needed.
- Do not spend more time in bed than is needed by establishing a standard wake-up time.
- No daytime napping.
- Avoid caffeine late in afternoon and evening
- Avoid alcohol in the evening
- Avoid large meals before bedtime
- Regular exercise is important:
- Perform exercise in late afternoon or early evening
- At least 6 hours before bedtime
- Medications for insomnia:
- Zaleplon (Sonata)
- Zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR)
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
- Estazolam (ProSom)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
- Tricyclic antidepressants:
- Non-tricyclic antidepressants:
- Antidepressant, alpha-2 antagonists:
- Selective melatonin agonists:
Medications should not be used as the only therapy for a person with insomnia. Medication does not cure insomnia; it only offers temporary relief of symptoms.
The most common medications used to treat insomnia include:
Additional medications for insomnia include:
Insomnia Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after treatment for insomnia.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat insomnia:
Continue to Insomnia Home Care
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- Dundar Y, Boland A, Strobl J, Dodd S, Haycox A, Bagust A, Bogg J, Dickson R, Walley T. Newer hypnotic drugs for the short-term management of insomnia: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess. 2004 Jun;8(24):iii-x, 1-125. 
- Sateia MJ, Doghramji K, Hauri PJ, Morin CM. Evaluation of chronic insomnia. An American Academy of Sleep Medicine review. Sleep. 2000 Mar 15;23(2):243-308.